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Philip Ilson

Festival Co-Director

Philip Ilson co-founded LSFF in 2004. He was the short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival between 2006 and 2022, and has worked as a freelance programmer, including at the East End Film Festival (London), Cork Film Festival (Ireland), and the Branchage Festival (Jersey), Latitude music festival, and at Curzon Soho Cinema.

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Charlotte Ashcroft

Festival Co-Director

Charlotte has worked for many years in UK film exhibition including at Showroom cinema in Sheffield, Film4 Online and ICA. She worked as Marketing and Programme Coordinator at Film Hub Scotland based at GFT, promoting new releases and BFI-wide seasons to cinemas and film festivals across Scotland. She is an alumnus of the ICO Cultural Cinema Exhibition Course, the Europa Cinemas Innovation Labs and was a member of the Glasgow Short Film Festival preselection team.

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Alice Maestrini

Festival Producer

Alice Maestrini is a film festival producer and cinema manager. Before joining LSFF, she worked in production roles at various festivals including Open City Documentary Festival, London Korean Film Festival and London Indian Film Festival. She was also co-director of community cinema Screen25 and is now a manager at Rich Mix.

Programme Team

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Qila Gill

Head of Programme

Qila Gill, a film programmer and producer, is Head of Programme at London Short Film Festival, on Berlinale Shorts and Generations committees, Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, and a SXSW documentary features screener. She also guest curated the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition at SGIFF. She is currently producing non-fiction films, her research focuses on fragility, sensitivity, inclusivity, ethnicity, ethical discourse, and embodiment. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Programmers of Colour Collective.

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Varun Raman

Head of Programme

Previously LSFF’s UK Lead Programmer, Varun is currently a Programming Associate for Narrative Shorts at SXSW and Assistant Director of Shorts Programming at Fantastic Fest. He’s also a writer and filmmaker – his most recent short, Man or Tree, won an award at Clermont-Ferrand and is a Vimeo Staff Pick.

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Akinna Aquino

Selection Committee Member

Akinna Aquino is a British-Filipino producer working across film and events. She delivered the first virtual editions of both the London Short Film Festival and the London Screenwriters’ Festival in 2020/21. In addition, she’s worked on a number of film/video projects including 3D animations for Coloro x WGSN and a short film looking at the lives of the Filipino immigrant community. 

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Sylvie Dumont

Selection Committee Member

Sylvie Dumont has programmed for LSFF since 2020. As former Assistant Manager at the Rio Cinema, she delivered events for Mubi x Dazed & Confused, Deeper into Movies, and Girls in Film. She recently completed her masters degree in Postcolonial Culture & Global Policy at Goldsmiths with a dissertation focused on film archives, anarchy, and accessibility. 

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Umloda Ibrahim

Selection Committee Member

Umloda is a Glasgow-based film researcher, studying the history of Sudanese Cinema and investigating how resistance appears in Sudanese films and modes of production. She has interdisciplinary experience working for a range of artistic and cultural organisations, including theatres, media charities, and film festivals. Her interests, other than coffee and finding a good book to disappear into, are in reclaiming narratives that have been overlooked and championing authentic stories about the communities around her.

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Martyna Ratnikaite

Selection Committee Member

Martyna is a Lithuanian cultural worker whose practice explores memory politics in the post/Soviet space. She holds a BA degree from the University of the Arts London’s Film and Screen Studies course and has previously pre-selected for IndieCork, in addition to serving as a juror for Venice IFF‘s Giornate section.

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Mascuud Dahir

Selection Committee Member

Mascuud is an actor born and raised in East London. Recently, he completed a month-long run of a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet at the Chelsea Theatre where he played Friar Laurence. Mascuud has a love for all-sorts of film. He recently, in an attempt to bolster his film knowledge, watched 100 films before the end of the year.

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Nicky Ni

Selection Committee Member

A Chinese expat living in Chicago, Nicky Ni writes and curates exhibitions and screenings. She is currently Curatorial Resident at Chicago Artists Coalition, Editor at Sixty Inches From Center, and Programmer for Onion City Experimental Film Festival. She is co-founder of LITHIUM and has curated exhibitions or screenings at Conversations at the Edge, Mana Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Photography, SITE Galleries, 062. 

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Gamze Şanlı

Selection Committee Member

Gamze Şanlı is a London-based multidisciplinary artist and performer uplifting untold stories through experimental theatre, independent film and documentary. Her craft weaves socio-politics, ancestral remembrance, nostalgic fantasy, poetic horror, mythology and magic. Firmly rooted and always entangled in arts and politics, she seeks to reflect, re-tell and archive intersectional struggles.

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Gabriel Calderwood

Selection Committee Member

Gabriel Calderwood is a writer and director based in London. He’s an avid cinephile with a special interest in Central East European cinema. He is currently working on his first feature film, The Memory of the Seagulls, and novel Days of Simple Pleasures.